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Many conspiracy theory websites (see [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]) and even some of my friends posit that Flight 93 was shot down.

It is well known that there were fighter jets scrambled to intercept Flight 93. Conspiracy theorists claim that there are some anomalies at the crash site, such as the larger than expected crater but striking lack of intact debris. Despite this, the official government position is that Flight 93 was not shot down.

Was Flight 93 shot down?

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From http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/06-09-11/:

The [claim about Flight 93 being shot down] rests largely on unsupported assertions that the main body of the engine and other large parts of the plane turned up miles from the main wreckage site — too far away to have resulted from an ordinary crash. This is incorrect, because the engine was found only 300 yards from the main crash site, and its location was consistent with the direction in which the plane had been traveling. Furthermore, the black box for the flight records the struggle onboard preceding the plane’s crash. Conspiracy theorists are left with not only an evidentially worthless theory, but also a confusing one. Why would the same U.S. government that allegedly destroyed the WTC shoot down Flight 93 before it could cause similar damage to other buildings? Of course, this question assumes a standard of logical consistency that the 9/11 Truth Movement seems to lack.

It is not well known that fighter jets scrambled to intercept Flight 93. See the account of Ben Sliney, the Federal Aviation Administration’s operations manager on September 11, 2001:

First of all, there were no military aircraft near it.

Also (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/flight-93-controller-looks-back/2/):

FAA headquarters never notified NORAD, in Colorado, that Flight 93 was hijacked until after it crashed at 10:03a.m. in a field in western Pennsylvania. No military plans had been scrambled in its direction.

The anomalies you mention are not relevant either.

  • larger than expected crater: Expected by who? How big of a crater should we have expected from an 757-222 hitting the ground upside down at a 40° angle at 563 m.p.h. with 7000 lbs of jet fuel on board?

  • striking lack of intact debris: 1000s of pieces of the aircraft were recovered, including parts of the planes two engines, a large piece of fuselage, the planes recorders (found in the crater) (http://www.nps.gov/flni/historyculture/upload/FAQs-long-form-July-2011.pdf). How much "intact debris" did the conspiracy theorists expect to see after a crash like this?

  • "FAA headquarters never notified NORAD, in Colorado, that Flight 93 was hijacked until after it crashed at 10:03a.m. in a field in western Pennsylvania. No military planes had been scrambled in its direction." AFAIK, NatGeo documentary directly contradicts that. It mentioned F-15s which were flying CAP over Atlantic being directed to intercept, but lack of direct data-links between civilian and military air control meant that they couldn't know which of 100s blips on the radar they we're looking for. – vartec Jan 2 '14 at 11:44
  • "Why would the same U.S. government that allegedly destroyed the WTC shoot down Flight 93 before it could cause similar damage to other buildings?" This statement makes a bit of a false-assumption. One could believe that this jet was shot out of the sky by the US government and still not ascribe to any other 9-11 related conspiracies. Much of the rhetoric in this answer indicts that those who believe that the plane was shot out down are conspiracy-theorist-types. I've not believed in a single, solitary modern conspiracy but this one does have more credence than any other I've ever heard. – RLH Aug 9 '16 at 17:03

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